What to do in white-knuckle situations with white-out conditions

What to do in white-knuckle situations with white-out conditions. (File - WWMT)

The National Weather Service says the lake effect snow could make “travel very hazardous or impossible,” which means possible white-out conditions and police pass on tips to those who find themselves in a white-knuckle situation.

Newschannel 3's Nicky Zizaza spoke with Michigan State Police and veteran road warriors about what to do if you find yourself in that situation.

The roads appearbut that is exactly why michigan state police wants drivers to be on alert.

A sergeant i spoke to says conditions can change in the blink of an eye when high winds kick up snow. When snow is in the forecast truckers often face whiteout conditions

Chris Koetsiar, a trucker, said, "You got guys out there, cars driving around 60 miles an hour, no headlights, you can't even see them."

The sudden loss of visibility making driving difficult

Monte Andrews, a trucker, said, “You never know what is going to happen, you never know what the other guy is thinking.”

One minute the roads are clear, the next you can't see past the end of your hood.

Strong winds creating areas of blowing snow can make it impossible for drivers to see.

Michigan State Police Sergeant Andrew Foster said, "Do your best to keep those tail lights somewhat visible so you can see where you are going and give yourself extra time. I would suggest getting off the freeway."

Foster said drivers caught in whiteouts must drive at speeds that suit the conditions.

He said, "Best bet, drive real nice and slow. Allow yourself extra time to get to destinations and definitely don't follow that car in front of you too closely, just to avoid if they had to brake suddenly."

Following the vehicle ahead of you at a safe distance and keeping your high beams off make all the difference.

Foster said, “Having all your lights on is helpful but your bright lights, don't turn those on, i think those can actually impair your vision, especially at night"

He says it boils down to one thing.

He said, "I've investigated multi-car crashes, I've seen other trooper’s vehicles get hit because of visibility and poor weather conditions. So regardless of your vehicle please just slow down."

Foster says it may be tempting, but don't try to get close to the car in front of you and follow their tail lights.

Instead, look for tire marks in the snow on the road and follow those and don't pull over during a white-out conditions because it could cause a chain-reaction crash.

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